Sports wouldn’t be the same without all the pieces that come together for it. The fans, arenas, coaches, and of course, the reporters and analysts who contribute significantly to the lore of the game. Personalities like Erin Andrews and Mike Golic breathe life into these competitive games as few others can. They make millions covering events like the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals, but it doesn’t come easy. How much do they earn in salary and who gets paid the most?
$500,000 – Molly Qerim
Molly Qerim first rose to prominence when she took over as the moderator for ESPN’s First Take. The anchor works alongside a few others we will get to later, and has helped push the show to become one of the highest-rated sports talk shows on TV.
Before landing the ESPN gig, Qerim hosted NFL AM and NFL Fantasy Live on NFL Network. She’s covered all the major sporting events like the NBA Draft and the Super Bowl during her time in the sports world.
$5 Million – Mike Golic
Any avid sports fan will tell you how much he or she enjoys the Mike & Mike radio show. The show is a staple over at ESPN and has been for over 15 years. Golic, along with Mike Greenburg, brings much-needed energy to everyone’s mornings with their show.
The former NFL player also works as an analyst for ESPN and ESPN2‘s coverage of college and NFL football. Whenever you hear or see Golic talking sports, you can bet it’s going to be good.
$4.9 Million – Samantha Ponder
Samantha Ponder used to be a sideline reporter, but now she’s become one of ESPN’s most recognizable talents. The sportscaster is one of the highest-paid women in sports media thanks to her savvy football reporting.
She’s the current host of ESPN‘s Sunday NFL Countdown, which is one of the networks most-watched segments. Before that, she worked as a host and reporter for ESPN‘s college football. She’s done coverage for basketball as well, which helped expand her portfolio.
$6 Million – Colin Cowherd
Colin Cowherd might be Fox Sports 1‘s leading man. Cowherd is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in sports talk television, so his salary should be on the higher side. He joined ESPN in 2003, and after working hard, he generated enough leverage to land his own TV show, but on a different network.
Beginning in 2015, he left ESPN for Fox Sports to host The Herd with Colin Cowherd. There, he shares his objective and subjective insights that the world can’t get enough of hearing.
$2 Million – Erin Andrews
As one of the most successful women in sports media, Erin Andrews got her start at ESPN in 2004 after working as a freelance reporter. She covers many different sports such as hockey, basketball, baseball, but she’s most known for her NFL coverage.
Currently, Andrews is the lead sideline reporter for Fox NFL. She’s covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and does so in a remarkable fashion. If any aspiring analysts need someone to learn from, tune into Andrews!
$235,000 – Lisa Salters
Lisa Salters is a veteran at ESPN. She’s been involved with sports as long as anyone on this list has. That has improved the level of respect people have for her. Salters was a collegiate basketball player and pursued broadcasting after graduating.
One of her significant moments was when she had the opportunity to cover the O.J. Simpson murder trial all those years ago. Not only has she covered the Olympics, but she’s also done coverage for the Super Bowl and World Cup.
$6 Million – Al Michaels
While ESPN might be the most prominent sports network, Al Michaels is the most well-known figure for NBC Sports. His claim to fame comes from his extensive experience from the play-by-play calling of NFL games. That includes two decades with ABC‘s Monday Night Football.
Not many can say they’ve been apart of so many classic sports moments. Michaels made calls for the Miracle on Ice during the ’80 Winter Olympics and the earthquake-interrupted game during the 1989 World Series.
$6 Million – Skip Bayless
Many folks remember Skip Bayless primarily from his time as an analyst for ESPN‘s First Take. He and Stephen A. Smith would have countless battles with their words, but that eventually came to an end. Bayless thought it was time to move on and he found himself on Fox Sports in 2016.
Now, he does his dirty work with Shannon Sharpe on their show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. Since 1999, Bayless has provided the sports world with his unique perspective, and that’s why he gets the big bucks.
$6 Million – Michael Wilbon
If you want to discuss veterans of the sports analyst world, then Michael Wilbon is who you bring up. After spending more than three decades at the Washington Post, Wilbon made a move to ESPN in 2001.
He came on and co-hosted a fan-favorite segment, Pardon the Interruption with Tony Kornheiser. Outside of that show, he spends his time as an NBA studio analyst for ESPN and ABC. You can always bet you’ll see him on the sidelines of the big NBA matchups.
$200,000 – Cassidy Hubbarth
Cassidy Hubbarth is one of the newer faces to grace the world of sports analytics, but she’s already doing a stellar job. She worked as a host and reporter for the Big Ten Network and worked hard until she won a Southeast Emmy for her work with SEC Gridiron Live.
That was all before she got onboard with ESPN and began doing bigger broadcasts. These include NBA Tonight, First Take, Sportscenter, and many more. Hubbarth also receives a lot of love in the Chicago area, as she used to be a producer for the WMAQ NBC5 Network in the Windy City.
$78,200 – Rosalyn Gold-Onwude
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude is a Stanford graduate who began gaining steam during the Golden State Warriors’ 2014-15 championship year. After graduation, she worked for Tesla Motors for a while before venturing off into the sports realm for good. She’s since worked with TNT and PAC-12 Network.
During her time at Stanford, she was a great player. She was great enough of a player to make the Nigerian National team too! “As a woman of color in sports broadcasting, I want to do good work and have a positive, visible influence,” she said.
$6 Million – Joe Buck
Did you know there was a National Sportscaster of the Year award? If you were a fan of Joe Buck, then you would be aware that he’s won that honor three times already. He’s been a play-by-play announcer for every World Series since 1996.
The legendary analyst has also called the U.S. Open (golf) since 2015. He’s become a staple in modern broadcasting since picking up where his father, Jack Buck left off. He chose to do the right thing by following in his dad’s footsteps.
$800,000 – Holly Rowe
As one of the prominent women faces at ESPN, Holly Rowe has been doing her job miraculously since 1998. For the past few decades, she’s covered numerous postseason bowl games, regular-season games, and has done plenty play-by-play broadcasting.
Her niche is college football, but she steps outside of that realm to cover men’s and women’s college basketball, the Running of the Bulls, and track & field. Call her a swiss army knife if you will.
$1 Million – Leeann Tweeden
Leeann Tweeden is one of the more versatile talents in sports media. Tweeden is a model, sports commentator, and radio broadcaster. She took off in modeling after winning the Venus International Model Search. Winning opened up the door for her in the media industry.
She had her own Fox Sports show for six years. In 2008, Tweeden became the third hostess for NBC’s Poker After Dark series. She’s dabbled UFC and baseball as well during her career.
$6 Million – Tony Kornheiser
The second half of Mike Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser is another fan favorite on ESPN. He too wrote for the Washington Post early in his career before making the transition to ESPN and becoming a staple in the industry.
Pardon the Interruption might be his most successful show, but he does plenty others. You can hear him on The Tony Kornheiser Show via podcast or radio. Longtime ESPN exec John Walsh once called him “the most multitalented person” in sports media.
$1 Million – Pam Oliver
Pam Oliver has been in the game for over 30 years now. The Fox Sports staple started out bouncing around local stations for almost a decade before joining ESPN in 1993. Two years after that, she jumped ship for Fox Sports where she would be a sideline reporter alongside John Madden.
In 2005, she worked her way up to TNT and did coverage for the NBA playoffs. There really isn’t anything that Oliver hasn’t done during her wonderous career. She currently reports from the sideline for Fox‘s NFL team.
$800,000 – Wendi Nix
Wendi Nix began her career in sports as a sports anchor for a local Boston network. She then went from Fox Sports Net to New England Sports Network and WPDE in South Carolina.
Now, Nix is the current co-host for ESPN‘s number one program, NFL Live. She’s certainly come a long way and isn’t far off from securing that million-dollar salary range like many other of her peers. Her primary role is to cover NFL games.
$10 Million – Stephen A. Smith
“They weren’t in Archdale, North Carolina, like I was, living on tuna fish and Kool-Aid, doing editorial assistance work during the day and at night covering high school sports in North Carolina for zero,” Stephan A. Smith said.
Smith has come a long way from living off fish to becoming the highest-paid on-air sports personality at ESPN. He began building his buzz early on with the Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith show on ESPN, but now his main focus is First Take.
$1 Million – Charissa Thompson
When it comes to huge personalities, Charissa Thompson is very personable. The Fox Sports’ media person has spent time with ESPN, the Big Ten Network, and GSN. She has one of the most impressive resumes in the industry.
She left ESPN and SportsNation for Fox Sports 1 and made her debut the first day the network did in 2013. Outside of sports, she’s co-hosted the entertainment news show Extra and Ultimate Beastmaster. A unicorn would be the best adjective to describe her.
$6.5 Million – Mike Greenberg
The other half of Mike & Mike in the Morning is none other than the great Mike Greenberg. He’s one of ESPN’s highest-paid talents, and he should be. He’s been with the network since 1996 and has only improved on his craft.
Not only has he worked with ESPN, but he’s dabbled with ABC as a host for the show Duel. He also co-hosted Battle of the Network Stars with Joe Tessitore. He’s a hard worker and earned every penny of that million-dollar salary.
$30 Million – Jim Rome
Jim Rome hosts the CBS sports radio show called The Jim Rome Show. Monday through Friday Rome provides his listeners with the hottest and well-thought-out takes to over 200 radio stations across Canada and America.
His show ranks 21st in listeners in the States. According to Talkers Magazine, Rome is one of the top 100 most influential radio hosts. That can explain in part why he brings in so much money!
$4 Million – Howie Long
Howie Long gets the job done. He was sensational on the football field, had some great exposure in Hollywood, and even does a stellar job broadcasting. The Super Bowl champion starred next to John Travolta in Broken Arrow after his playing days ended.
Having always loved football, getting into broadcasting was something he wanted to do since his days on the gridiron. There are many players-turned-broadcasters and Long is just one more great example to add.
$4 Million – Kenny Smith
Kenny “The Jet” Smith wasn’t a star during his NBA playing days, but he did manage to secure a championship during his stint with the Houston Rockets. He was a pivotal role player.
Once he accepted his position as a broadcasting host for TNT’s Inside the NBA, his popularity increased dramatically. People got the chance to see how witty, funny, and “cool” he was as he spoke about basketball with the likes of Charles Barkley.
$7 Million – Bob Costas
Bob Costas’ coverage of sports doesn’t end. It seems like he’s done it for centuries, and he always does the biggest events. Some might call him the most recognizable broadcaster ever.
He does a great job of understanding how sports connects with everything else going on in society, so that helps with his longevity. The way he does his commentary makes him even more enjoyable, as Costas likes to show the big picture, and not only the play.
$6 Million – Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry only worked as a commentator for a single year, but he’s still worth mentioning. He comes from the world of soccer and played for a number of teams during his career.
In 2018, he was a commentator for Sky Sports but would leave so he could pursue his other passion, coaching. We can’t say if that was a bold move for him, but we do know he had a decent enough salary to make a fruitful living from it.
$7 Million – Tony Romo
Retiring from the NFL and becoming a sports analyst appears to have been the right choice for Tony Romo. The former Cowboys’ starting QB is currently on CBS’ top NFL broadcast team, sharing a booth with Jim Nantz.
After the 2019 NFL season ended, Romo was rumored to be on the move to ESPN to join Monday Night Football, but re-upped with CBS for a cool $17 million a year. The salary makes Romo one of the highest-paid sports analysts on network television.
$5 Million – Michelle Beadle
Michelle Beadle joined ESPN in 2009 and has since become one of the highest-paid women in sports broadcasting. With the network, she has hosted and been a part of several shows over the years, including SportsNation.
In 2019, Beadle was given a buyout by ESPN, essentially ending her time with the network. One of her last gigs was as a co-host on Get Up!, the network’s attempt at a morning show featuring Mike Greenberg. Beadle has also worked with NBC and HBO.
$4 Million – Andrea Kremer
Andrea Kremer broke barriers in recent years when she joined Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football broadcast as an analyst. Alongside Hannah Storm, the pair became the first female team to announce play-by-play and commentary for an NFL game.
Throughout her storied career, Kremer has covered over 25 Super Bowls for various networks. She has won two Emmy Awards and in 2018 received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Awards for her “longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.”
$3 Million- Suzy Kolber
Suzy Kolber was one of the faces that helped launch ESPN 2 in 1992. Since then she has been a staple in sports media. Kolber hasn’t always stayed loyal to ESPN, however. In 1996 she joined the sports team at Fox Sports, where she stayed for three years.
Since returning to ESPN in 1999, Kolber has become one of the network’s most important personalities. She has been so popular that her voice and likeness have even found its way into sports videogames like ESPN NFL Football, which was released on Xbox and Playstation 2.
$3 Million – Linda Cohn
Linda Cohn made history in 1987 when she was hired by ABC to become the first full-time female sports anchor for a national radio network. In 1992, Cohn moved to ESPN, where she has been a Sportscenter regular ever since.
Overall, Cohn has hosted over 5,000 episodes of the sports recap show, which is more than any other anchor in the show’s history. In 2008, the sports talk veteran published her own book, Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys’ Club.
$1.5 Million – Lindsay Czarniak
After becoming one of ESPN’s top talents, Lindsay Czarniak left the network for a more lucrative opportunity with Fox Sports 1. Using her experience hosting Sportscenter served her well as she began hosting NASCAR coverage for her new network.
Aside from her work with NASCAR, Czarniak has also spent time covering other sports, including the NFL. In 2007, she was the first reporter allowed to interview Washington Redskins players after the tragic passing of Sean Taylor.
$1 Million – Jemele Hill
At her peak with ESPN, Jemele Hill was making a cool million dollars a year. She worked for the network for over a decade and built an iconic chemistry and partnership with Michael Smith. The pair were so good together that ESPN gave them their own version of Sportscenter called SC6.
Unfortunately, the show covered too many topics for the network and was canceled after a brief run. Today, Hill no longer works for ESPN. She instead produces her own podcast and contributes as a writer for The Atlantic.
$1.5 Million – Charles Barkley
Former NBA MVP and All-Star Charles Barkley provided TNT with just the spark they needed when he decided to join Inside the NBA. The outspoken star never won a championship, but he now has some Academy Awards to his name.
On Inside the NBA, he does a great job of providing comic relief, hot takes, and serious opinions while battling out with Shaquille O’Neal. The entire cast does an amazing job at what they do, so we’re going to have to reveal them all.
$4 Million – Michael Strahan
Michael Strahan will go down as one of the best defensive players to play the sport of football. The Super Bowl champion was so great on the field, and some of that talent followed him off the gridiron.
Working for Fox Sports is only one of the gigs he has, but he does it well. The rest of his time goes toward Good Morning America, where he makes even more than he does at Fox.
$1.4 Million – Dwyane Wade
“I am truly honored to be a part of this TNT family,” Dwyane Wade posted on Instagram. “I’ve sat back and watched you guys for years create TV magic. I’ve watched this network give former players a voice and current players a platform. As a leader, I’ve always tried to empower and uplift the next generation and this platform gives me the stage to do that.”
Wade is one of the latest additions to the TNT crew and as you can tell by his caption, this is something of a dream come true. We hope he has a long and fruitful career.
$1.5 Million – Ernie Johnson
Ernie Johnson is the glue that holds things together for Inside the NBA. Whether it’s keeping Shaq from trying to kill Barkley, or it’s providing a perspective no one else provided, he’s always there when you need him.
Not only is he an expert in the NBA world, but he likes to spread his talent across other sports too, such as golf and football. He always has a brilliant opinion and he’s pretty funny at times too.
$$$ Lots – Shaquille O’Neal
Knowing Shaq, he probably doesn’t even accept a check from TNT as he works for the network. Inside the NBA was already good without him, but he added a little extra zest upon arrival.
The brilliant investor has a ridiculous net worth, and there’s no sign anywhere as to how much they pay him. He had a history of turning down payments when he doesn’t need it, as he’s one of the most thoughtful guys out there.
$4 Million – Scott Van Pelt
Scott Van Pelt is an ESPN veteran! He’s arguably one of the best broadcasters the network has ever had, and only continues to get better. As of 2020, the network finally gave him his own segment on a nightly basis, so that’s always something to look forward to before you get some shuteye.
Pelt’s coverage of sports ranges from the Masters Tournament to The Open Championship. It’s always a good show when Pelt is around.
$3 Million – Curt Menefee
Curt Menefee knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life after graduating from Coe College in 1987. He went right into sports broadcasting, working with some local stations in Florida and New York.
In the ’90s, Menefee started working for Fox Sports full-time. He would bring his services to play-by-play announcements for NFL Europe and Fox NFL. He’s had a long and prosperous career that he continues to nurture with each year that passes.
$2 Million – Jay Bilas
Someone who knows college basketball extremely well is Jay Bilas. He’s the expert ESPN relies on during March Madness, as he always provides sound advice and commentary on the future NBA stars.
Maybe his knowledge comes from playing four years at Duke University and representing America on the National Select Team. Bilas makes a modest living compared to many others on this list, and even earned Emmy nominations two years in a row for Outstanding Performance by a Studio Analyst.